Syria’s long war has reached its Srebrenica moment

Syria’s long war has reached its Srebrenica moment

Roy Gutman writes:

The Assad regime and Russia are poised to destroy totally the East Ghouta region just outside Damascus or expel its population of some 400,000, and nothing but the empty words of the United Nations, the United States, and Europe stand in their way.

So, too, 23 years ago, the world sat mostly mute, watching events unfold in and around the small village of Srebrenica in a remote corner of eastern Bosnia. No government was ready to lift a finger to save the population of some 27,000, at least half of them displaced from other areas.

At a critical moment, the United Nations Protection Force decided not to bomb Bosnian Serb forces marching on the town. That was taken as the all-clear for Gen. Radko Mladic to capture Srebrenica, expel the women and children, and exterminate the male population of some 8,000.

The discovery of mass graves just a month after the July 1995 massacre, coming on top of the genocide in Rwanda one year earlier, provoked soul searching in the world community and a chorus of declarations of “Never again.”

Four years later, in 1999, the U.S. led NATO to intervene decisively in Kosovo, averting another bloodbath, and in 2005, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a principle that governments have a “Responsibility to Protect” their citizens from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

But “Never Again” has turned into “Ever Again.” [Continue reading…]

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